Spice of Life
Can food taste good and still be good for us? Heck Yeah Fit Divas!
There are only so many ways to cook up chicken, ground turkey, beef and fish. There are so many different Nutrient-packed condiments that can make food delicious while still keeping us healthy and lean. Lets chat about how to choose and prepare the best condiments — from pesto to hummus to salad dressing.
We all want food to taste great and it should! Nobody can sustain a food regiman based around bland and boring food — no matter how “healthy” that food is. It wont last! I promise you that. Besides, we were meant to enjoy all the many spices and flavors out there
Variety is Key
So, to pump up the flavor, we often use condiments – stuff like ketchup, mayonnaise, guacamole, barbecue sauce, and more.
The good news: Some of these condiments are actually good for us!
You can probably guess the bad news, right? Some of them are not.
How can we get the best of both worlds — delicious food and good health?
First, you need to look at the food label. You should be doing that on most of your foosd anyway!!!
Second, you must obey the portion control rule. Remember…we want to add and enhance what we are eating, not change it! Haha
1 serving of low sugar organic ketchup is Bella Diva Approved…1 tablespoon!! Those tablespoons add up REAL quick and then become SO unapproved added sugar, sodium and calories. Trust me, I get pictures from my clients of what they are eating…and simple changes make a HUGE difference!!!!!
Lets go over my top choices to keep in the fridge at all times.
Top 10 Fit Diva Condiments
Hummus Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread that is typically made with cooked, mashed chickpeas and blended with sesame tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.
I am all about making my own food and getting creative, but I have only made hummus once. It truly took too much time, effort and cost way more then buying it! haha
The options on fresh, tons of different flavors and great price are way much more convenient. This is a great low carb, good fat add on to create a creamy texture, just keep that portion in control.
Guacamole is an awesome condiment. Why? It’s made almost entirely from produce and its a good fat! However..it add up fast. So put 2 heaping tablespoons in a bowl and put the rest away;)
While recipes can vary somewhat, the main ingredient is always avocado. Avocados, and therefore guacamole, provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (much like olive oil), and contain an amazing array of phytonutrients, including some very powerful carotenoids, beta-sitosterols, and more.
These phytonutrients in avocados are known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They improve eye health, and are associated with a decreased risk of cancer of the mouth, breast, and prostate. In addition, avocados are a good source of fibre, potassium, and lutein as well as 22 other essential nutrients!
Again…watch the portion. SO easy to keep eating. Since it is mainly good fat…the calories per gram are double then your carb or protein. Good fat is needed but not more then you need! Calories are Calories;)
OMG! One of my favs and SOOOOOO many types.
I did find this cool tid bit:
Mustard seeds are members of the Brassica family, just like broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts. Like other members of that family, mustard seeds contain plentiful amounts of phytonutrients, specifically a class called glucosinolates. In addition, mustard seeds contain an enzyme that can turn these glucosinolates into substances called isothiocyanates.
Isothiocyanates have been extensively researched for their strong anti-cancer effects. In animal studies, intake of isothiocyanates has been shown to slow down or decrease the growth of existing cancer cells and to protect against the formation of new cancers. The data is particularly strong in colorectal cancer and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
Whole grain from TJ
There are SO many! Look at the sugar content when choosing honey mustards! 1-2g per serving is ok! Try not to use any higher on a regular bases. Again, how often do we just use 1 tsp at a time!
Salsa: This is another sneaky condiment too! There are SO many types and definitely adds a huge kick of flavor with little calories. I Love my salsa but a serving size of 2 tablespoons adds up very quickly!
Sure, it’s only 10-15 calories per serving BUT…the sodium and sometimes sugar grams start to pile up. Pineapple, mango or peach salsa are fabulous add ons to chicken or fish but each serving of fruit salsa range from 2-4g of sugar per serving. Before you know it, your chicken breast or fish or even fun to put on rice becomes a sneaky 10-12 g of sugar!!!!! Keep it in the fridge as staple, but get creative on how you use it and portion it out.
Easy ways to use salsa:
-Saute your ground turkey or beef in it for extra moisture and flavor.
-Create burgers with salsa mixed into the patty before you cook it
-Create a high protein veggie dip but mixing your fav salsa, plain low fat greek yogurt and hot sauce! YUM!
Ketchup: Great on eggs, burgers, sweet potato fries…another one where..who eats a tablespoon? The sugar is 5g per serving! Ahhhhhh. Choose organic and look at the label. Most organic are only 2g sugar per serving.
Greek Yogurt (plain, low fat): I could go on and on with this fabulous high protein, creamy, low carb food. It can be substituted for so many things! As a condiment, I replace mayo or sour cream all the time. Create veggie or cracker dips. Its great to just mix with your favorite salsa and create a creamy, high protein topping to bake chicken and make it super moist. I have a previous blog all about Greek Yogurt! Check it out for ideas and recipes.
Hot Sauce: Another low calorie full of flavor add on! Just take a look at the sodium levels. Some can be extremely high. We NEED salt in our diets, but focus on getting them more with pink or sea salt. The variety of hot sauces are endless. I have few staples I use all the time on my eggs or veggies but every few weeks I will try a new one! Have FUN!
Tzatziki: A Greek go to! Yogurt, cucumbers, lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, dill, parsley and sometimes mint. YUM!! Easy to make or there are a lot of companies that make super fresh and just as de-lish for even easier grab and go. Traditionally used to bake chicken but I say…try it on anything if you love the fresh taste of cucumbers and dill. Its also just a great snack with veggies and pita chips.
Salad Dressing: Of course the best is when you can make it fresh yourself with olive, choice of vinegar or lemon juice and spices. However…like I said, Variety is KEY so we dont get bored of food and time factor. Salad dressings can definitely be a calories bomb along with tons of added sugar. READ that FOOD label. When home, always less then more. You can always add not take away. When out dining, ask for on the side. Stay away from thick creamy rich dressings unless again you make it yourself and know whats in it! I will some dressings as marinades for shrimp and chicken.
One of my absolute store bought dressings! All natural ingredients. No sugar, low sodium. Very good for marinding chicken and shrimp!
Making our food taste great helps us maintain healthy eating habits. And using tasty condiments appropriately can provide a wonderful treat to the palate.
In addition, ensuring that our condiments are nutrient-rich will help us meet our health and fitness goals.
Remember always to keep portion sizes in mind, and to check the labels to make sure condiments are made from mostly real food, with minimal added sugars and sodium. And if the condiment is a source of fat, ensure it’s a healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil, expeller pressed canola oil, or avocado.
As always, get creative, share your ideas and enjoy Life!
Ciao Ciao Bella Divas